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Spiritual Governance

Spiritual Governance

Chapter:
(p.19) One Spiritual Governance
Source:
A Ministry of Presence
Author(s):
Winnifred Fallers Sullivan
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226145594.003.0002

This chapter describes practices of spiritual assessment through which spiritual health is measured today in the US across the domains served by chaplaincies. The first section describes the spiritual fitness promoted by the US Army as a way to promote Army Values and as a necessary condition of military readiness. The second section describes an unsuccessful lawsuit brought by the Freedom from Religion Foundation to challenge the spiritual care practices of the Veterans Health Administration as being an establishment of religion in violation of the First Amendment. These practices resemble the pastoral governance described by Michel Foucault but also have an anarchic quality characteristic of US religion and politics.

Keywords:   Michel Foucault, spiritual assessment, spiritual fitness, army values, Veterans Administration

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